COLUMN: MAC wrestling realignment good for CMU
This article has been updated to correct inaccuracies.
Conference realignment is not just for college football teams.
Three wrestling teams decided to join the rage Wednesday, becoming new members of the Mid-American Conference.
And it is for the better. The MAC is not adding a lowly team like it did for football last season by adding Massachusetts.
The MAC added three schools of great quality in Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion. Furthermore, it can be nothing but good for the Central Michigan wrestling team.
While winning 11–consecutive conference championships is nice for the program, with each one it has become less impactful for the program.
Now, Kent State has given the Chippewas all they can handle. The Golden Flashes even stole the regular season championship from the Chippewas last year.
But that was a rarity. Not only does CMU have a ridiculous number of conference tournament championships, it has also won every regular season MAC championship since 2000, with the exception of two.
CMU is at its ceiling, which is high, but could be higher, with the conference’s improving strength.
Winning a conference championship with a Missouri team on the rise in the MAC would be beneficial in many ways.
The Big-12 conference’s loss is CMU's, and the conference’s gain, and what a surprising addition it was.
After deciding to make the move to the SEC in November, the BCS school chose the MAC over the Western Wrestling Conference and Southern Conference, less than two months before the season begins.
The Chippewas are 2-3-1 all-time against UM. The Tigers tilted the record in their favor with a 29-12 win at the 2011 NWCA National duals, in a matchup of top-20 teams.
A season before the Tigers bolted from the Big-12, they won their first conference championship, and finished 26th in the NCAA Championships – two spots below CMU.
The Panthers and Monarchs will add a great deal of quality to the middle of the conference.
Perennially, they will be higher in the standings than Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois, and below Central Michigan, Kent State, Ohio and newcomer UM.